GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s a happy day at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids as the mated pair of red pandas welcomed triplets.
The cubs were born Thursday. They and their mother Wasabi are well.
The cubs’ genders have not yet been determined. The zoo has not yet said anything about names.
The zoo announced earlier this month that Wasabi was pregnant. It didn’t know then exactly how many cubs there would be.
Wasabi and partner Wyatt are part of a breeding program to help save the endangered red panda. It’s estimated there are fewer than 2,500 adults still in their natural habitat in the Himalayan Mountains, with the population decline blamed on the destruction of bamboo forests.
Wyatt already fathered two cubs at his previous home in Tennessee before coming to Grand Rapids, but this is Wasabi’s first litter.
For now, Wasabi and the cubs will remain off exhibit, staying in their den and bonding. In a few weeks, the cubs will get their first exam, at which point their sexes will be determined, and they will be vaccinated.